Product Review: How one clinician upgraded his 2D Planmeca ProMax system to a 2D/3D system and what it meant for his practice

October 25, 2013
Renee Knight

Issue 10

Dr. Adam Kimowitz tells us what this upgrade has meant for his patients and his practice.

Dr. Adam Kimowitz tells us what this upgrade has meant for his patients and his practice.

Dr. Adam Kimowitz and the team at The Denville Dentist first began using 3D imaging in 2003, but at the time it was just too cost prohibitive to have their own in-practice unit.

Back then, they sent patients to imaging centers for scans. Not ideal, but it enabled them to get the information they needed for a variety of cases, from complex implant cases to endodontic procedures. They still weren’t quite ready for an in-office unit when they invested in the Planmeca ProMax 2D imaging system in 2007, but they knew it wouldn’t be long until they were.

Dr. Kimowitz wanted something that would grow with his practice, and he had that in the 2D system. He knew that when he was ready, he could upgrade the 2D unit to a 2D/3D unit without needing to buy expensive new equipment. That time came in 2010, when he found himself ordering more than two scans a week.

“We like to do things in our practice with the concept of modularity. We want to have things grow when we grow,” said Dr. Kimowitz, who practice with his dad, Dr. Hal Kimowitz. “We knew we’d want to upgrade to 3D but we didn’t know when.”  

The upgrade

Upgrading the ProMax was a smooth, easy process, Dr. Kimowitz said. The unit was already in the practice, so all they needed to do was replace a 2D sensor with a 2D/3D sensor and install new software. Before this process, which took about three hours, the team spent some time discussing the network requirements to make sure they were ready for the switch. Once everything was installed, they were ready to start scanning in-office.

The team at The Denville Dentist already had some experience in 3D imaging, so that meant there wasn’t a lot of training that had to be done. The biggest challenge was making sure team members knew how to use and acquire images as well as position patients for the scan, Dr. Kimowitz said.

Team members were eager to learn how to use the upgraded unit and were excited to have this technology in-house for their patients, Dr. Kimowitz said.

And that type of staff buy-in is key no matter what technology you’re bringing to your practice.

“The staff was 100 percent open to it. One thing we do in our office is create a culture in our staff to keep things new and exciting, and to have them a part of any change we implement,” Dr. Kimowitz said. “That trickles down to our patients, too. If someone calls or has a question about it or implant dentistry, we tell them this is a must for us to really assess what their needs are.”

The patient benefit

Dr. Kimowitz uses the ProMax for many cases to determine the best treatment plan, and now that the practice has a unit in-house, patients don’t have to go somewhere else for those all-important scans.

But beyond that, Dr. Kimowitz and his team use the scans as an educational tool. They can bring scans up to really show patients what is going on in their mouths and to help explain what the best course of treatment might be. This truly helps make them partners in their care and really part of the process. And that makes them more likely to accept needed treatment.

“When I can bring a case up in front of a patient and explain to them what it is I see, not on my level but from an expert to novice standpoint, it makes them feel much safer and more OK about accepting dentistry,” he said. “And we can do this without having to say, ‘trust me, I’m a doctor and I know what I’m talking about.’ My main goal is to connect with my patients and not try to make them feel like I’m the guru. I’m going to give them all the information they need to make an educated decision. This allows me to do that from treatment planning to case presentation.”

The unit also has 2D imaging that includes the ability to take an extraoral bitewing, a great feature for patients who aren’t comfortable with traditional sensors. This feature is geared toward gaggers, geriatric patients and children, and enables clinicians to get the same diagnostic views they would with a traditional sensor.

The time is now

If you’re not using 3D imaging in your practice yet, now is the time to make the change. Dentistry is constantly evolving, and you need to have the ability to treat diverse patient bases, to easily share information with other clinicians, and to make your practice as efficient as possible. This technology does that and so much more, and isn’t something you can afford to ignore.

If you’re not yet comfortable with the 3D world, talk to colleagues already using 3D imaging. Watch videos on YouTube. Take a few CE courses. And remember you don’t have to do it all at once. Start with a 2D system and add 3D imaging capabilities when you’re ready. Your patients and your bottom line will both thank you for it.

“This is one of those things I don’t know what I would do without, as far our treatment of patients,” Dr. Kimowitz said. “It will make your life and your patients’ lives better.”